Category Archives: Community Events

5 Reasons Not to Miss Preferred Medical Group’s Expectant Mommy Expo 2015

Heather Hughes 1

Expectant Mommy Expo 2015

Saturday, September 12th from 2:00-4:00 pm EST

Doors open at 1:45 for pre-registered attendees.

Location: Phenix City Chilren’s Clinic 3700 A Phenix City, AL 36867

Preferred Medical Group’s Expectant Mommy Expo 2015 is quickly approaching, and you may be wondering why you should take time out of your Saturday afternoon to attend. Yes, we know SEC football is on, and there are plenty of other events competing for your energy and attention, but we assure you that the Expo is one you don’t want to miss. It’s our third annual event, so we know what we’re talking about!

Here’s why YOU should be there:

1. It’s FREE. Yes, you read that correctly. There is zero charge for you to come out and receive invaluable education and resources as you prepare for your upcoming journey into parenthood. We have expert speakers addressing everything from keeping your newborn safe to breastfeeding to coping with the stress of having a new baby in the house. You’ll have the chance to ask questions so that you are fully prepared to be a Mom!










2. Make Connections. At the Expo, you’ll meet more than 25 different businesses in the community that cater to expectant parents and/or babies. Looking for a newborn photographer? Check. We’ll have one at the Expo for you to meet. Still working to decorate the nursery? Check. Have you even thought about a pediatric dentist? We’ll have everyone that you could possibly imagine right here in one convenient place! Some of the businesses will even be selling small accessories, such as hairbows, at the event at exclusive Expo prices.











3. Treat Yourself to a Little Pampering. The Expectant Mommy Expo is proud to offer complimentary pregnancy massages to our attendees. We also have pre-natal yoga classes onsite, that you can sign up for before or during the event. Or, relax and let us provide all of the supplies and direction that you need to make an adorable picture frame to top your new baby’s dresser. We will also have light refreshments on site for a quick afternoon pick-me-up. This day is truly all about YOU.











4. Raffles, Raffles and More Raffles! We will be giving away the equivalent of $1000+ in goodies that YOU need. We have everything from a free 4D ultrasound to discounted or free newborn photography sessions to gift cards to your favorite baby store–all of the products and services that Mom and/or baby could desire.




5. You can bring a friend, relative or soon-to-be-Dad. Due to space constraints, we do ask that you limit guests to one additional person, and we ask that all guests be above the age of 15 due to the nature of the event. However, it’s so much fun to begin this journey with someone by your side to walk with you along the way!


If we haven’t convinced you yet, all we can say is that the Expectant Mommy Expo is a TON of fun and an event you will remember for a lifetime. Pre-register today by emailing: Once you submit your pre-registration form, you will be all set for the Expectant Mommy Expo 2015!

While walk ins are welcome, we do encourage pre-registration to ensure you are able to participate in some of the most popular events that are limited due to time and space constraints. Plus, the first 50 women to pre-register will receive a special gift from Preferred Medical Group.











Here is a link to our official Facebook event with more information and our featured sponsors. Be sure to share this information with anyone you know who may be expecting!

Congratulations Preferred Medical Group Kids! Monthly Contest Winners

June 2015

For Father’s Day, Preferred Medical Group kids were asked to write a short essay about why their Dad is the best and deserves to win a prize! The grand prize was a Father’s Day Package at Turner Field that included 2 Terrace Level tickets to an Atlanta Braves game, a parking pass, and a catch session in the outfield. Maggie White, age 14, was our grand prize winner!

Maggie White essay Maggie White Father's Day Essay









May 2015

For Mother’s Day, Preferred Medical Group kids were asked to write a short essay about why their Mom is the best and deserves to win a prize! The grand prize was a manicure & pedicure, and each age group won a manicure. All of our entries were phenomenal. We would like to thank ALL of the children who took time to enter our Mother’s Day Essay Contest.

Here are the winners:

Courtney Schmidt, age 14

Mothers Day Contest Winner Arthur Washington







Arthur Washington, age 16


Collin Wood, age 4

Amaiya Beecham









Amaiya Beacham, age 11

Mother's Day Contest Winner Katelyn Osborne and Nana









Katelyn Osborne, age 7

Dr. DeRamus Speaks about Autism Spectrum Disorder in Recognition of Autism Awareness Month 2015

A special thanks to Ms. Diane Pope and the Autism Hope Center for inviting us to participate in April’s Autism Support Group Meeting in Recognition of Autism Awareness Month 2015. Dr. Michelle DeRamus, Preferred Medical Group’s child psychologist, located at the Phenix City Children’s office, specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

She earned her Ph.D. from theshutterstock_175559492 University of Alabama. She completed fellowships with the TEACCH Autism Program at the University of North Carolina and the University of Alabama Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic. While she enjoys working with all children and adolescents and can treat anxiety, depression, anger, ADHD and more, her special area of interest is Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. DeRamus will share with parents about the learning style differences that occur in a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and how these differences may affect the child’s behaviors and emotions. She will provide suggestions for how parents can best help their child with Autism Spectrum Disorder by acknowledging these differences and by applying this knowledge to the way that the parents relate to the child.

Childcare is provided for this talk on Tuesday, April 28th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., if you call ahead. Details below:


support group meeting April

Preferred Medical Group fosters healthcare opportunities within Phenix City, Columbus community


Preferred Medical Group providers are more than just white coat doctors, working 8-5 in the office. Our expert physicians make themselves readily available as active resources and advocates in the community, to educate and advocate about health-related issues, to answer your questions and to provide helpful suggestions on everything from parenting to treating complex medical problems.

RC Career Day RCMS

Dr. Ritu Chandra, the founder of Preferred Medical Group is a board-certified pediatrician. She is recognized as an official Partner in Education with 13 schools, in the Phenix City and Russell County school districts. She also partners with other community organizations, including Head Start and church daycare programs, the Phenix City-Russell County Library, and the New Beginnings Program for teenage expectant moms.Dr. Chandra and her public relations manager, Amanda Bradshaw, attend and sponsor monthly school events including PTA talks, Spring Flings, Fall Festivals and Career Days and are always willing to assist with special projects. For Relay for Life 2015, our patients and staff are raising $1,000 in honor of our head nurse, Ms. Wanda Stephens, a three year cancer survivor.

Dr. Chandra also actively advocates for children at the state legislature.

Preferred Medical Group providers write bi-monthly blogs for our website and for Muscogee Moms, sharing advice on topics ranging from how to treat the stomach virus to talking to your kids about the “birds and the bees.”

Dr. Michelle DeRamus, our in-house licensed child psychologist, adds a fresh perspective and recently published a mini-series on the special challenges that military children face. She helps children with anger, anxiety, ADHD and depression, and specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. DeRamus volunteered her time in March for complimentary therapy sessions to help Russell County High School students who were affected by a tragic automobile accident that killed two students.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and Dr. DeRamus will be giving a talk, Learning Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder and How They Affect Behavior, on April 28th at 6:30 p.m. in collaboration with the Autism Hope Center. More details about the talk can be found here on our website,

Preferred Medical Group hosts a Parent Advisory Committee, which meets quarterly. We invite our parents to provide us with their feedback and to give us ideas about how we can better meet their needs. The Committee meetings are open to all the families of our current patients. The next meeting is this Thursday, April 23rd at 5:15 p.m. EST at our Phenix City Children’s office.

Dr. Chandra and Dr. Vernekar also maintain a continuous commitment to teaching. They are both Assistant Professors at the medical schools of Mercer University and Georgia College of Medical Sciences (formerly Medical College of Georgia). They also teach students from University of Alabama’s PA School, Nurse Practitioner students from Troy University and University of South Alabama in Mobile, DO students from The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Auburn.

Our doctors encourage young people to choose a career in the healthcare field. Therefore, we facilitate shadowing opportunities for high school and college students who plan to pursue a career in the medical field during summer months. These interns work with our nursing and front office staff to gain valuable hands on experience in a physician’s office.


Shadowing opportunities are limited, so we encourage students to apply early. Email a copy of your resume and a letter explaining your interest in the medical field and your career goals to: 

Relay for Life 2015 Russell County, AL

Preferred Medical Group is sponsoring a team for Relay for Life 2015.

Our goal is to raise $1,000 or more for the American Cancer Society to help in the fight for a cure. We have currently raised $300, and have $700+ to go.

If you would like to help us in our efforts, please donate online here, or visit either our Fort Mitchell or Phenix City Children’s clinic location.

You will receive one raffle ticket for every $1 donation to win an iPad mini. For example,if you donate $10, you will receive 10 chances to win, $50, 50 chances, and so on.


ipad mini

The winner will be drawn on the day of the event, May 1, 2015 at Phenix City Elementary School. You do not have to be present to win.

Please join us in the fight against cancer with Relay for Life!


E-cigarettes, Bullying, & Measles: Pediatrician’s Perspective

RC Lakewood Elementary 2015 RC Oliver Elementary 2015








Dr. Ritu Chandra is far more than just a pediatrician to thousands of children in the Phenix City area; she also allocates evenings and weekends in her spare time to serve as a resource to countless parents, teachers, principals, school nurses and guidance counselors in the Phenix City School system.

She typically schedules a guest lecture or school event at least once per week, and has three “hot topics” that she has been sharing with parents of late that could benefit many families in the community: e-cigarettes and vaping, bullying/cyberbullying and the measles outbreak.

e cigarettes

On Tuesday, February 27th, she explained to parents at Central Freshman Academy’s Honor Roll presentation that e-cigarettes, or battery-powered devices that convert nicotine into vapor are not as harmless as the tobacco industry wants teens to believe. What’s worse, they are sold over the counter and are not subjected to the same rules and regulations as actual cigarettes.

“Attractive flavors such as pina colada, chocolate, cherry crush and cotton candy are used to entice children,” Dr. Chandra said. “Big Tobacco is targeting children in order to addict them to nicotine. And, incidence is increasing; in 2013 14 percent of kids in grades 6-12 had tried an e-cigarette.”

Dr. Chandra warns that tobacco remains the No. 1 cause of preventable deaths and disease in America and that e-cigarettes are a “gateway drug” to other, even more harmful substances. Since 90 percent of smokers began using tobacco before 19 years of age, it is essential for parents to remain vigilant to help ensure that their children and teenagers understand the dangers of smoking, especially as related to e-cigarettes. Further research is needed to assess the long-term health effects of these devices.

Secondly, bullying is a prevalent issue that affects many children both inside and outside of the classroom. Nearly 30 percent of American youth are either a bully or Black and white picture of an upset boy against a walla target of bullying, according to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center. “Bullying today is different than it was several years ago, when a kid got picked on in class and then came home to his own space. Today, with the Internet and cell phones, a kid can be lying in bed and still receive hateful text messages on his phone or Facebook posts,” Dr. Chandra told a group of fourth grade parents at Lakewood Elementary School on Thursday, January 30th.

She recommends that parents stay actively involved in their children’s lives, no matter the age group, and ask probing questions to determine if the child’s social interactions are mostly positive or negative. Asking “Who did you sit with at lunch today?” can make a huge difference. Your child’s pediatrician can also serve as a resource in helping to determine if a child is experiencing bullying during his/her annual checkup. Parents may find that their child is either being bullied (the victim), or the one bullying others (the perpetrator.) The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents of the victim take the following steps:

  • Help the child to identify people at school they can trust and who can be allies
  • Know the school system’s policy on bullying
  • Encourage the child: They should not be treated this way 
  •  Identify ways parents can monitor use of technology and prevent exposure to cyberbullying

Meanwhile, parents of the bully should:

  • Establish that this behavior is NOT acceptable
  • Reference school policy, as appropriate
  • Parents can monitor use of technology and prevent exposure to cyberbullying

Finally, Dr. Chandra spoke to parents at Oliver Elementary’s PTA meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 2nd about the recent Measles Outbreak at Disneyland and why it is Measlesimportant to ensure that both parents and children are fully immunized against this contagious disease. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in 2011, the US saw 222 cases of measles, the highest number in 15 years. Typical incidence is about 100 cases per year.  However, in 2014, the U.S. saw even more cases of the measles, with 644 reported cases in 27 states. The contagious virus is airborne and is spreading rapidly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one case of measles can infect up to 18 additional people. The Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine can help to prevent your family from contracting this disease, which can lead to hearing loss, swelling of the brain, pneumonia or even death. “Please be vigilant in vaccinating your children according to the schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics,” Dr. Chandra urges.

For more information about these topics or others, please check out the Physician’s Blog portion of our website, Preferred Medical Group includes both Phenix City Children’s, a pediatric clinic, and the Fort Mitchell Clinic, a family practice for kids and adults. Both are accepting new patients with most insurance plans.

Birthday Winners

Each month, Preferred Medical Group runs a report for ALL patient birthdays. If your child comes to our office for a Well Child visit during the birthday month, he/she is eligible to win a birthday gift from us. Please check this post during the last week of the month to see the Birthday Winner. Birthday winners are also posted on our Facebook page.

Birthday Winner July 2014

Liam Goldberg, DOB 07/06/2009

Liam Goldberg July 2014



Birthday Winner June 2014

Ka’Mya Paul, DOB: 06/19/2007

KaMiya Paul June 2014


Birthday Winner May 2014

Jenna Anthony, DOB: May 05/28/2003

Jenna Anthony May 2014


 Birthday Winner April 2014

Terik Smith, DOB 04/14/2011



June 2014

  • June 2014 JR Library Story HourDr. Rumph read the children two books at the Pre-School Story Hour at Phenix City Public Library, and PMG donated some yummy snacks in honor of school being out for the summer! Since the practice began, our pediatricians have made it a habit to go to the local library and read to children. They see it as an honor to be so connected to the community.







  • We hosted our summer Parent Advisory Committee Meeting at Phenix City Children’s. This committee meets quarterly, and we value the frequent opportunities to get insight and advice from some of our parents. We always enjoy discussing ways to improve our practice!  If you are interested in being a part of this committee, please email for more information.


  • We worked to produce some new commercials, and we appreciate our talented parents and kiddos for taking time out of their busy schedules to participate. As our special way of saying “Thank You,” we created an ice cream sundae bar for them. Our commercials will launch in August.

DSCN0578  DSCN0584  DSCN0585



May 2014

  • Top 10 Tips for Parents who have Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)- In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, Dr. DeRamus shared some of her best parenting tips about helping children with ASD with emotion regulation and behavior management. (Due to stormy weather, this event was postponed to May 1st.) A recap of her tips can be found here. Approximately 15 parents attended, and a reporter from WTVM covered the story as well.


  • Lakewood Elementary School Top Reader Award– Dr. Chandra donated a $100 Toys R Us gift card as the grand prize reading award for a top student at LES. Names were placed into a bowl for all of the children who accumulated a high number of reading points. Dr. Chandra drew the winner!


  • Lakewood Primary School Top Reader Award- Azaria Jesscoat, a 1st grader at Lakewood Primary School, read 103 Accelerated Reader books on a fourth grade level and passed all of the tests! To reward her hard work this year, Preferred Medical Group rented a limo to take Azaria, her family, and her best friend from school to a restaurant of her choice for lunch. Azaria chose TGI Friday’s in Columbus. Dr. Rumph as well as the other 1st graders came out to see them off for their lunch outing.

May2014 Limo 1  May 2014 Limo 4    


  May 2014 Limo 3       May 2014 Limo 5


May 2014 Limo 6

  • Oliver Elementary Spring Fling– Representatives from PMG helped with the face painting booth at Oliver Elementary’s annual event for parents and children.


Oliver Face Paint 4      May 2014 Oliver Face Paint 3    

    May 2014 Oliver Face Paint

  • Chick-Fil-A Family Night– We always have a blast hanging out with the families at Chick-Fil-A. One Monday this month, we spend some time painting kids’ faces with butterflies, hearts, and even Batman!

May 2014 Chick Fil A Face Paint 3    May 2014 Chick Fil A Face Paint 2

  • Peanut Allergy Talk- Dr. Rumph spent a few minutes with the board at Glenwood School to explain the importance of developing a plan to keep children with peanut allergies safe at school. She explained that peanut allergies can develop at any age, and so it is important for all of the faculty to be prepared in the case of a sudden allergic reaction.

May 2014 Peanut Allergy Talk

April 2014

  • Fort Mitchell Community Volunteer Fire Department Safety Fair and Spring Fling– Preferred Medical Group sponsored this event, and Ms. Amanda set up a table to give out washable tattoos to the children.


  • Fort Mitchell Clinic Easter Egg Hunt and Family Fun Night– Approximately 650 kids attended our first Family Fun Night & Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Egg Hunt on Friday, April 11, 2014. More than 2,500 eggs were hidden around the property. Most children walked away with a goody bag of candy, but one lucky little girl found our grand prize egg and took home $100.

     Egg Hunt 100 prize


This event had it all: a moon bounce and large inflatable slide donated by the Fort Church, several games, including: bowling, ring toss, lawn darts, a Burlap Bunny Hop, and beanbag toss, all run by Mount Olive Intermediate School’s Coach Taylor, WKCN-Kissin’ 99.3 onsite to play live music, and raffle prizes donated by almost every business in the community. Nearly $600 was raised from concessions sold to benefit the Post 800 Explorers program, which is sponsored by the Fort Mitchell Community Volunteer Fire Department. This program aims to teach young men and women about the values and duties associated with service in the local Fire Department through the Boy Scouts of America. Several Explorers were on site during the event to direct traffic and assist with the games.Students from Russell County elementary and middle schools were encouraged to wear their class t-shirts and sign in at the event in support of their school. Russell County Middle School had the highest number of students and teachers in attendance and won a $250 check from Dr. Chandra.


Egg Hunt- JR and RC Raffle             Egg Hunt Kids Lined Up

               Egg Hunt Kids gathering eggs    Egg Hunt Burlap Bunny Hop

Sponsors: Bob English with State Farm, Marco’s Pizza, and Chick-Fil-A, who generously donated food and supplies.

  • Career Day at Westview Elementary– Dr. Rumph attended Westview’s Career Day and talked to children about what her job as a pediatrician entails. She said that her favorite part of each day is going to see the tiny newborns in the hospital each morning before coming in to the clinic.JR CLose Up Career Day

JR Career Day Westview


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